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Volleyball Hitting Drills

Improve ball contact position and spiking with topspin

When executing volleyball hitting drills, there are 2 very important things to focus on.

1) Improving ball contact position and

2) Spiking with topspin

In the photo above, the arm is vertical from shoulder to elbow (hammer position).

Volleyball Drills for Improve Ball Contact

The following volleyball hitting drills are important techniques for learning how to spike.

  • Wall Elbow to Wrist Drill. During this drill the focus is only on the elbow to wrist action. The elbow to wrist action is the last motion of spiking. Since elbow to wrist is the last part to spiking, it should be the first thing to learn.

  • Partner Elbow to Wrist Drill. Have each player find a partner and work on elbow to wrist. Remember, the contacts should be made with a vertical arm, hand in cobra position.

  • Spiking Overpasses. The purpose of spiking overpasses is to focus on hitting the ball down using elbow to wrist action. Player stands at the net and coach tosses the ball up over the net. Focus on spiking the ball down without following through. 

  • Platform Volleyball Hitting Drills for Elbow to Wrist. The focus is on elbow to wrist arm action. Place a platform such as box or stack of mats at the net. Each player tosses the ball to themselves and spikes over the net. The focus is on elbow to wrist and not following through. Use elbow to wrist to spike the ball down into the court. Targets can be placed on the court (10 foot line). Also, defenders can work on digging.

  • Spike Trainer.
  • A spike trainer is a device that holds the ball in position for a spiker to spike. The biggest advantage of a spike trainer for volleyball hitting drills is not having to adjust your approach to a bad set.
  • Wall Topspin Drill.
Volleyball Hitting Drills
    Learn how to spike with topspin by spiking a topspin serve against the wall. The ball should spin. If the ball doesn't spin, then the energy put through the ball is going through the center of the ball. To hit with topspin, the energy should transfer through higher on the ball (more near the top). Have players notice the spin and focus on creating more spin. 

    Learning to hit with topspin can be difficult at first because the topspin contact has less power. Kids are usually taught to hit the ball as hard as possible. The hit the ball harder, it's natural to send the energy through the center of the ball (this creates a floating action). We don't want the ball to float when spiking, we want it to spin. Therefore, it's often difficult to understand how and why to hit with topspin.

  • Platform Volleyball Hitting Drills for Developing Topspin. The focus is on creating topspin and hitting targets. Place targets in the deep corner and short cross court. The focus is on contacting the ball high (vertical arm) and creating topspin that gets the ball to land in the corners. The key is to end up in a cobra hand position (not a vertical hand).

Volleyball Approach and Spike Drills

  • Over the River. Learn the spike approach with slow motion training.

  • Spiking to Zones 1, 5, & 4. Once you are comfortable with your ball contact (elbow to wrist and topspin) and your approach is pretty good, then work on putting it all together. Create a hitting line of three players. Coach tosses the ball to the setter and the setter sets an outside set. Each player rotates one after the other. The goal is to spike the ball to a target. When 3 consecutive spikes hit targets, then the drill is over. 

    To make the drill challenging, give a 3 minute time limit. If the group hasn't completed the drill by the end of three minutes, then there is a consequence for the ball shaggers. Start the drill again until 3 successful hits.

  • Cross Court Pepper. Line up with 4 players on each side of the net. The goal is to pass, set, hit keeping the ball in play. After the ball goes over the net, players rotate positions. This is a ball control drill. See how long the team can keep the ball in play without the ball hitting the floor.

Executing the volleyball approach and spike


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